I had really hoped not to have to blog about this. In fact, given the reception my last posts generated, I would have preferred not to blog again. However, if you have to swallow enough manure, you feel the need to speak up.
Let me start by saying this, I am no fan of Rep. Curry Todd. He is a mean-spirited, ineffective, wrong-headed, hot tempered, and ornery. I do not agree with him on many, if any, issues. He is not my representative and if he left the legislature—much like if Jim Cooper left congress—I would not have any feeling one way or the other.
He also did something illegal and incredibly stupid. He is a hypocrite—color me shocked that someone in Legislative Plaza would be guilty of such a sin. For what he has done, he should be punished just as you or I would be in the same situation. By all indications, this is how things are proceeding at this point.
The news media has done their job. They have reported the incident. They have pointed out the Republican hypocrisy of people like Glenn Casada calling for Rep. Briley to step down in the wake of his incident, but remaining silent on Rep. Todd. The issue has gotten national coverage. A simple Google search for Rep. Todd returns numerous results. The man is down, he is out for the count and his career is at an end.
Yet there are some who believe that more needs to be done. For some people, anything short of a public lynching will not satisfy their thirst for retribution. Tonight, that attack has turned on Rep. Turner and the legislative democratic caucuses. It seems that many on the left are dissatisfied with the way our electeds have chosen to deal with the Todd situation.
Let me say this, I think that Chairman Turner went too far. Had it been me, I would have expressed my condolences to Todd’s family and said let the law work itself out. That, in my mind, would have been more appropriate. That being said, Rep., Turner is entitled to his opinion.
What I take exception to in all of this is the idea that our legislative democrats are scared. These 13 men and women in the Senate and 34 men and women in the House are our bread and butter and they aren’t scared of shit. After getting a solid ass whooping last year, these members could have lie down and let the Democratic Party die. Or they could have taken the TNDP route and focused so much on national issues and personal gain that they make themselves irrelevant. They did neither. Instead, these members put forward serious pieces of legislation, fought valiantly against the bevy of republican nonsense coming through the General Assembly and went statewide to address our jobs crisis. They held a presser last week talking about their aggressive plans for next session, despite their small number. These are not the actions of cowards.
Yet, today these members are being called ‘scared’ because they stayed out of a situation that was already being handled and to which their comments added nothing to the discussion. What would it have profited Mike Turner to call for Curry Todd’s resignation? What would it have done for the democrats or the public sphere for our electeds to put in their two cents? NOTHING. The only thing it would have done is pissed off the Republicans, who hold the redistricting pen.
Noting this reality is not cowardice, but a real assessment of the situation. Our party is in disarray and our number one priority should be to defend what we have. Saying something snotty about Curry Todd would have done nothing but make this more difficult to do just that.
So yes, the legislative caucuses could have made a big to-do like the overly dramatic Chip Forrester, but instead they took the high road, noted that we weren’t adding anything to the public discourse by pounding on Todd and lived to fight another day. We have real issues in this state and very few dems to fight those issues. This is nothing but a damn sideshow. So let’s buck up, move on and lay the fuck off the only people fighting for us in this state.